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Mercedes Oliveira

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A lesson in Team Spirit
March 17, 2014

Now that the hangover has passed, I’ve had time to reflect on our achievement of being a finalist in the Toast of Surrey business awards and, I have to be honest, being ‘just a runner up’ hit me harder than I thought it would do.

I had convinced myself that being a runner-up was all that we’d achieve, and that the overall winner would be one of the other finalists.  And I was comfortable with that.

But, on the night itself, one of the organisers let slip that we’d actually won, so I had two hours to work on my Oscar-winning acceptance speech, and dream about what winning would feel like.

However, that was not the case…

My concern immediately switched to our team and how I could motivate them and make sure they felt good about projectfive reaching the finals.

But I guess my own feelings were hard to suppress, and my disappointment was hard to disguise.  As I battled through a heavy workload on Friday, complete with hangover too, I was never quite able to conjure up the words or actions needed to lift the team.

But, I needn’t of worried, they we there to motivate me, and this is what I received in my inbox on Friday…

From: Phil Dear
Sent: 14 March 2014 16:24
To: Steve Coburn
Subject: Because….

Hi Steve,

Despite the fact that it was a great night out, I think we are all a bit disappointed that we didn’t actually win last night at the Toast of surrey Awards. I’ve asked the team why they think we ‘should’ have won and, in no particular order, here are some of the reasons they came up with….

“Because even our clients turned up, uninvited, gate-crashing the party, expecting us to win.”

“Because of our originality of course!”

“Because of how much we’ve grown and how many people we’ve taken on recently!  It shows that we’re doing the right thing for our customers and that we have something to offer that people really like. Projectfive really is a great place to work and the fact that we can keep attracting really awesome people to work here with us just proves that it is easy for other people to see this too.”

“Because we’re a great close nit company who look after each other, which then naturally means we look after our customers.  As projectfive get stronger the local businesses we work with also get stronger 🙂 ”

“Because we have exquisite taste in alcohol (consumption only).”

“Because we all genuinely want to help the people we meet and make their jobs/days better. Every one of the team are passionate about what they do and will go the extra mile to help people.”

“Because we cheered the loudest on the night!”

“Because this isn’t just a job, I don’t feel like it’s a chore every morning to come to work. We have an amazing team with cracking personality and it feels like a little orange family! We are all well looked after, the management team are always helping even if it isn’t a work issue. Basically projectfive is the best place to work and that’s due to all the hard work we all put in.”

“Because as a team we are sick and not like ill sick, like amazing sick!”

“Because of our Family atmosphere (including the occasional spat), diversity of characters (even amongst the geeks) and our unrestrainable senses of humour and mischief”

“Because we are the best dressed”

“Because the fact that all 17 of us turn out to the awards goes to show how proud everyone is to work for projectfive. Everyone is engaged and dedicated to the projectfive brand and purpose; everyone works incredible hard; and we really do love working for projectfive! We’re a talented, friendly bunch and are committed to providing our clients with honest, reliable and personable support – we deserved to win!”

“Because were the loudest and clearly had the most team spirit”

Some comments are obviously more serious than others.  I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t look like a list made by people who think they are losers!

I will let you guess who said exactly what, but what is great is how positive everyone feels about what they do at projectfive, even the bits that are ‘work’.

Thanks for arranging a great evening out for us all to have a bit of fun, and more importantly, thanks for arranging projectfive so we can have fun during the days as well.

Cheers mate!


As you can see, that really is a great lesson in Team Spirit because, as a team we were able to work out who needs the most support at any given time, and be on hand to provide that support just when it’s really needed.

Thank you projectfive!

11 responses to “A lesson in Team Spirit”

  1. Chas Bradfield says:

    Sounds like you don’t need an award to let you know how good you are! And as the gardeners among us will say “there’s always next year”

  2. Jaz Blake says:

    Wow – what amazing team spirit! I’ve known Steve for a number of years and he is the most positive person I know – and now I see why!
    Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and take pride in their work makes the daily grind so much easier to deal with…I know that from experience!
    Well done ProjectFive – you’re definitely winners

  3. Alec Sanderson says:

    All at P5 …

    I went to see the Olympics and Paralympics, and was really amazed at the level of achievement all the competitors had reached – especially to us mere mortals who can only dream of competing.

    I can’t imagine what it’s like to get the silver medal having gone so far though. But personally I think “wow, just fantastic” …

    You have one of the best teams in the whole of Surrey. You are one of the very select few businesses that I recommend without hesitation … and I’m very, very picky!!

  4. Lorna Dane says:

    Dear Steve & Team,
    Congratulations and well done for being in the final of the Toast Of Surrey awards – it’s a huge achievement to get there at all – well done to all of you! Projectfive will always be ‘winners’ for us. Your business has achieved something really special, a great team spirit and a truly exceptional group of people. Long may that continue and who knows, there’s always next year?! Best wishes, Lorna

  5. Sounds like no need for the brave face.

    Yes it’s nice to win but I agree with Alec it is HOW you take part that REALLY counts. Bit like when Tom Daly got Bronze in London 2012 and I wondered why he was so happy to get the bronze and not the gold like everyone had hyped up! But hey an Olympic Bronze is up there and he dived as best he could and that’s all of us can do.

    For me it’s the way you do business. Not everyone can win but if you know you’ve done it your way and that was the right way – for your staff and your customers – everyone reaps the rewards. It’s a Win Win all round.

    Well done on being a Finalist – a great achievement and just one way to recognise all the team’s hard work. 🙂

  6. Lucy Boazman says:

    Having a team around you with a huge amount of pride in their work, a friendly smile on their face and a genuine passion for what they do is key to a successful business – and the Projectfive team certainly have all of the above…
    No Oscars style speech required!

  7. Jason Pope says:

    Congratulations guys, go and grab it next year

  8. Hi Steve and the whole Project Five team.

    As I said in my email to you, regardless of a particular award on a particular day, you are all winners to me.
    You place your customers at the heart of what you do, you are growing, you are a team, you are winners.
    With my kind regards

  9. Stuart Dey says:

    Seems it was not your night – perhaps you should have been in the leadership award?

  10. Dave Good says:

    Met Steve a long time ago and he runs a wonderful new paradigm business. I love the fact that he knows that a great culture will attract great talent to work in the business and talented clients who love being looked after. Great to see further evidence. Proud to know this business.

  11. Glen Fulton says:

    Winning awards is nice, but what is much better is knowing how much your team believes in you and the business they work in, and how much they enjoy doing it. That’s always come across to me when I visit your offices or come into contact with your team. Much better than a piece of silverware on the shelf!

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